Polo Ralph Lauren’s global brand concepts division will launch a lifestyle brand that will be exclusive to multichannel merchant J.C. Penney Co.
The launch of American Living will be the largest in Penney’s history and will include a full range of apparel for women, men, and children, as well as accessories and home decor. Penney spokesperson Tim Lyons says American Living will be available in the Plano, TX-based merchant’s stores and catalogs and on its Website beginning in spring 2008.
Penney has been on a roll with its exclusive brand launches. Its private brands, in fact, account for more than 40% of its revenue, and three of them–J.C. Penney Home Collection, St. John’s Bay, and Arizona Jeans Co.–have sales of more than $1 billion. In 2003 it became the exclusive North American retailer for Bisou Bisou, a manufacturer of contemporary women’s sportswear. The next year Penney partnered with interior designer Chris Madden, who creates an exclusive home furnishings collection and serves as a Penney spokesperson.
Most recently, Penney partnered with high-end beauty merchant Sephora to launch a store-within-a-store concept within five of Penney’s department stores; several more Penney stores will add Sephora this spring. Also this spring, Penney will launch two casual brands by Liz Claiborne–Liz & Co. for women and Concepts by Claiborne for men.